In no way, shape or form am I a Belieber, a One “Directioner”, or a screaming, teenage girl for that matter. However, those caliber of feelings rise up in me with an amazing band called Imagine Dragons. (I met the lead singer last fall, no big deal). While not a Christian band, I can’t help but see God speaking through their lyrics. Specifically a song called “Demons.”
The Chorus of the song reads:
Don’t get too close It’s dark inside It’s where my demons hide It’s where my demons hide
This song suddenly came to mind today amongst some serious anxiety. These spells in me tend to go one of two ways, either I get “manic” productive or I start to shut down. Tonight, while listening and practicing music for my ministry trip this summer to Zimbabwe, I am struggling and losing this battle. I had two different voice teachers in college tell me for three years that I was worthless, that I’m not talented and that I am lazy. And if you want to know a secret, I haven’t sung freely since. Still to this day I can’t stop over-analyzing every note that comes out of my mouth, I can’t block out the hours I spent listening to how I wasn’t good enough. No matter how hard I try, I can’t turn off the demons those professors created.
Deep inside I want to sing, I want to share this part of me that largely goes untapped. I work every single day to encourage students to sing out, to remind them that their voice is completely unique, it is a gift that no one can take away from them. That no matter where they are, they can always improve, and that singing can be one of the greatest joys in life. Yet, I can’t follow my own advice.
God has been teaching me this year to be fearless, that deep in my soul is the same strength, the same power that was in Jesus. It hasn’t been easy. It has involved me leading worship for the first time. Giving a message for the first time. Sharing my faith story with over 2,000 people at my church. And now He is leading me on a mission to Africa. God has been (in the words of Charlie sheen) #winning in my life like never before and I am so happy about that. Still, a few places remain in the dark, and singing is one of them.
Tonight while talking with one of my ministry group leaders I shared my anxiety and he responded with, “Sometimes God is calling us to do what we are most afraid of,” which was exactly what I needed to hear. God calls us to face our fears and to be courageous in His name. Easier said than done. God has led me to this ministry, to six weeks of singing. To what psychologists might call an exposure therapy.
Whether you acknowledge the existence of satan/the devil or not, we all experience him in our lives. Those moments when life seems hopeless, when you want to give up, when everything inside you is telling you that you’re worthless, – that is satan at work. He will do anything to keep you from fulfilling your true purpose, from doing God’s work. He will use any inch you give him, any dusty corner you try to keep from God, he will exploit.
The answer? James 4:7
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.“
Resist (verb) – to exert force in opposition.
Resist is a verb, it involves action. Sitting in a dark room under the blankets is not exerting force. You have to do something, you have to tell yourself that all good things from God (James 1:17), and that God has plans for you to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). You have to open your bible and read something like this:
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
So brothers and sisters in Christ, I invite you to let God quiet your demons today. Whatever your struggles, don’t struggle alone, ask for advice and guidance. Let God lead you to an exposure. He can and will heal all your struggles but you have to resist, exert force, take action. I am always happy to pray for you and I humbly ask for your prayers over these next few months. Don’t suffer alone. There is a God who is so fantastically in love with you and He is always there for you. All things are possible through God!!
“I can’t escape this now, unless you show me how.” – Demons by Imagine Dragons [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8]
It’s a long walk through this world, but stand tall, you’re one day closer to being Home.